Port of San Diego Ends Lease for Driscoll Marina on Shelter Island

by on November 18, 2022 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

From Peninsula News of Point Loma Association

Since 1992, the Driscoll family has run this wharf at America’s Cup Harbor. It mainly serves San Diego’s Commercial Fishing Industry.

Over three decades it needed more maintenance than it has received. A Revitalization Plan, for $285k, upgraded a few things in 2013.

Still the fishermen grumbled.

“I’ve been here for dang near 30 years, and when the Driscoll’s came in, they really did just suck the money out of this place,” said Matt Pressley, a sea urchin fisherman. “They never put a nickel back into it. The buildings are falling apart, we’ve had fires from electrical things… It should literally be condemned.” San Diego Union-Tribune

Condemned it now is.

Below are excerpts from the Port’s letter announcing the end.

Dear Mr. Driscoll: We write with respect to the above referenced Lease… As you know, the Lease expires on April 30, 2023. The District has decided to not pursue a Lease extension for Driscoll Marina’s continued operation of the leased premises.

Pursuant to its rights under the Lease and the Guaranty, the District formally directs Driscoll Marina and Driscoll Inc. to comply with all of their facility removal, environmental remediation, and peaceable surrender obligations as set forth in the Lease… These provisions require Driscoll Marina and Driscoll Inc. to, among other things, remove from the leased premises all landside and waterside structures, buildings, installations, improvements, machines, appliances, equipment, trade fixtures, ships, vessels, barges, hulls, debris, surplus and salvage materials of any kind.

Tom Driscoll’s summary for his subtenants:

“Be out by the end of the year”

“The timing of all the piers and slips being removed, as well as the buildings being destroyed, will have a huge impact on all our Subtenants. The Port’s current plan would be to move all fishermen to G Street while the piers are being removed, then be moved back at a later date once new docks get built. All other Subtenants and slip holders must vacate the property.”

You may not have a dog in the fight (or a boat in a slip), but PLA believes, as a member of our community, you should be aware of what’s happening.

The 2013 San Diego Commercial Fisheries Revitalization and Coastal Access Plan ended with this statement:

“In addition to these infrastructure improvements, the Plan recommended development of a fisherman’s market.”

It took until this year for that to happen.

Fish are biting. Markets are open. The wharf is reeling in customers. The Point Loma Commercial Fishing Alliance is fighting to keep the dream alive. Seems to us they are the innocent bystanders and potentially biggest losers in the Port of San Diego’s Master Plan.

(On Monday Nov.14, we contacted Driscoll and the Port for comments. No response so far from Driscoll. A representative from the Port emailed earlier this morning but was unable to submit anything in time for publication today (Thursday Nov. 17). We hope to post additional information in our next newsletter.)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David December 13, 2022 at 4:17 pm

It is well known that the fisherman that are forced to dock there are disgusted.


nostalgic December 14, 2022 at 9:56 am

I don’t understand your comment. Do you mean the fisherman think the dock SHOULD be closed and agree with the city? Or did you mean that the fisherman want to stay there? I know nothing about it, but it is understandable that Driscoll did not make improvements with this now realized threat hanging over their heads.


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